Published January 26, 2018
A restive region in Ethiopia says it has pardoned 2,345 prisoners as part of the government's recent pledge to release jailed politicians and others after the most serious anti-government protests in a quarter-century.
Oromia region spokesman Addisu Arega says in a Facebook post that more than 1,500 of the prisoners had been convicted, while the rest had been under investigation. They were accused of taking part in violent protests.
The government says those pardoned are expected to be released in "a few days" after taking rehabilitation courses.
The East African nation this month released a leading opposition figure and 115 others. The government has said it wants to "widen the democratic space for all," but some critics have expressed concern it could be a ruling party tactic to buy time.